Have you ever fancied tackling some of the UK’s classic mountain days in winter but been worried about how to handle steeper snowy/icy rocky steps? Have you ever been on a winter walking day out and turned around at a difficult point? Or maybe you want to get up mountains in winter but not necessarily by the easiest route.
Any ground which would be Hands out of pockets terrain in summer turns into winter mountaineering territory. Essentially a summer scramble, but in the winter! If you lack the confidence or experience to embrace this, then considering a winter mountaineering course could unlock a whole world of stunning winter experiences for you and your friends.
You will usually be in a group of no more than four with one instructor. Meeting your instructor on the first morning provides an opportunity to discuss everyone’s experience and aspirations enabling the instructor to plan the programme based around these. The main topics to be covered are:
- Re-visiting core winter movement skills using axe and crampons in ascent and descent.
- In-depth practice on movement skills over grade I/II winter snow and ‘scrambling’ type terrain.
- Use of a climbing harness & ropes.
- Constructing and using snow anchors (such as buried axe, snow bollard and Deadman)
- Selecting and using natural rock anchors
- Abseiling using snow anchors
- Avalanche awareness and risk assessment and it’s implications for safe route choice.
- Winter navigation
Been 5 days this course allows use the time to cover a variety of areas and venues in the cairngiorms as well as, venues such as Creag Meagaidh, and/or Ben Nevis
Evening lecture topics may include winter hazards, winter navigation and avalanche awareness.
The programme is fairly flexible taking into account individual needs and aims, weather, etc.